May Object of the Month
Chosen by Rachael Welsh, Conservation Assistant at the Britten-Pears Foundation
Every month, a member of staff from the Britten-Pears Foundation chooses their favourite item or object from the archive. This month features Conservation Assistant Rachael Welsh:
18th century 8 day English Striking Longcase clock
"As the Conservation Assistant it is very difficult to choose just ‘one’ object from the collection as I help look after all the objects, rugs and furniture on display.
The George III longcase clock is one of my favourites as it has to be wound up every 7-8 days and it is lovely to hear it chime out on every hour, though it tends to gain time, up to 8 minutes after 6 days and has to be reset. It reminds me of my childhood and staying at my Grandma’s house.
The history of the actual clock is quite sad as it has had a lot of changes since it was first built around 1715-1745. We are not sure of the maker but the clock face is marked ‘Stevenson, Stafford’. Records show there was a John Stevenson operating in Stafford in 1749 and a Robert in 1785.
The mechanical condition of the clock needed to be overhauled for it to operate again and this was conserved back in 2010, along with the woodworm issue in the back board. The hood was in need of structural repair on the right hand side and both front pillars of the hood are missing.
The actual mechanism of the clock suggests it was originally an earlier 30 hour movement but was removed at some point and altered to fit an 8 day movement and put back into the 30 hour oak case. As a result, the pendulum is slightly bent and on every 4th-5th swing it will knock the back of the case, which I think gives this lovely working antique character."